Oof. Disjointed. Meandering. Whiny.
The above were my notes on Ford Maddox Ford’s The Good Soldier. Clearly we are in for a glowing review…
The Good Soldier begins with the famous line “This is the saddest story I have ever heard,” and yes, the story relayed to us by John Dowell is certainly tragic, what is even more sad is the writing.
Ford jumps back and forth on an arbitrary timeline that doesn’t serve anyone – not the reader, nor the characters. Though a well-developed plot at its core, and an examination of the muddy truth behind appearances, The Good Soldier is so disjointed, and Dowell so obnoxiously arrogant in his tower of innocence and victimhood, it detracts from the heart of the novel.
It is beyond me as to why The Good Soldier continuously stays on multiple lists of “best novels.”
Rating: 2.5 Bad hearts